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Stupid Problem - DVD Playback on WXGA Notebook

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#1 of 2 OFFLINE   Scott Dautel

Scott Dautel

    Second Unit

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  • Join Date: Oct 06 1998

Posted April 23 2007 - 05:46 AM

Even I consider this a stupid question ... and I'm the one asking it.

Work just issued me a beautiful new Dell Latitude D420 widescreen ultraportable notebook (nice review & pics here). I love it. It has the same footprint as a sheet of paper (8.5 * 11) and is just about exactly 1" thick. Contains a WXGA (800 x 1280) widescreen TFT LCD display.

Optical drive is external and is a DVD-ROM/CD-RW combo drive. The other day while in-flight, I tried to play a std widescreen DVD on the unit using the included InterVideo Win DVD software. I could NOT find any way to stretch the [anamorphic] video to fill the width of the screen. The image was letterboxed and windowboxed at the same time (i.e. black all around). There was no readily apparent setting in either the laptop display settings or DVD Software menu to alllow me to reconfigure the viewing window.

Has anyone else dealt with a similar issue on a widescreen laptop. I Know there is a fix or else 90% of widescreen laptop owners would be screaming. What am I overlooking? HELP?


#2 of 2 OFFLINE   Ken Chan

Ken Chan


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  • Join Date: Apr 11 1999

Posted April 23 2007 - 08:57 AM

Are you sure the DVD was anamorphic? Because that should just work if you can play it "full screen". The image is wider/shorter than the screen and should fill the width. Where it might not work is if the DVD is letterboxed, but not anamorphic. In that case, the image is taller/thinner than the screen and fill the height, but that includes the black bars. Zooming to make better use of the screen would be a function of the player. Maybe you've got the OEM version of WinDVD, and that feature is only available in the full version? Hmm, try these instructions.

And it's not just laptop owners that are affected. Widescreen LCDs are becoming more common for desktops.